October 18, 2018–January 31, 2019
Cahiers d’Art in Paris presented a solo show by Lucas Arruda and a new monograph on the artist. While all of Arruda’s works are untitled, this exhibition, like each of his solo presentations to date, was named Deserto-Modelo. Drawn from private collections, on view were intimately sized paintings of landscapes and seascapes characterized by their subtle rendition of light as well as new prints edited by Cahiers d’Art, a historic publisher that works directly with artists on limited-edition books, prints, and catalogues raisonnés. Made in the Paris workshop of American printer Michael Woolworth, Arruda’s print works are an extension of his painting practice, which focuses on near-abstract, atmospheric compositions created from memory.
Published by Cahiers d’Art with three different cover images, the monograph explores Arruda’s pursuit of light in his paintings. The book includes seventy-five illustrations and texts by Fernanda Brenner, curator and director of Pivô, an independent art center in São Paulo, and Mexico-based curator and writer Chris Sharp, as well as excerpts from a conversation between the artist and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Image: Lucas Arruda, Untitled, 2018
May 20–August 12, 2018
Paintings and an installation by Lucas Arruda were presented at Fondation Beyeler in Basel as part of Nature and Abstraction, an exhibition exploring perceptions of the natural world in works from the Beyeler’s collection. Room 21 was devoted to small-format paintings from the artist’s Deserto-Modelo series (2015–18), while an adjacent room featured a projection of hand-painted slides based on these works.
Painted from memory and characterized by their subtle rendition of light, Arruda’s landscapes and seascapes depict atmospheric conditions with only the subtlest suggestion of a horizon line. "It’s the idea of a landscape rather than a real place," he explains. Using evocative and textured brushstrokes, Arruda foregrounds the materiality of paint while also recalling historical associations with the notion of the Romantic sublime. The title "Deserto-Modelo" references the Brazilian poet João Cabral de Melo Neto, for whom the idea of a desert is conflated with timeless and irrational thought. Similarly, as the Beyeler notes, Arruda invokes the desert as a metaphysical realm, with "modelo" signifying not only a model, but also a kind of vision or state.